Thursday, November 22, 2007

Side Of The Road Torture

Go over to Digby's and watch a video of just how quickly and easily you can be tortured by the police these days.

Remember when watching. No one is required to sign a traffic ticket and the law requires a warning that you will be tased if you are about too.

Read the whole thing and you'll get a sense of just how degraded are our civil liberties these days.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Here's something interesting. Ever want to conduct your own poll? Now you can.

YouPolls is a place for users to create polls about the topics of their choice, and gauge public opinion about the issues, as they frame them. It's also a place where people can discover content across a wide variety of subjects, share them with friends, and discuss them with others who share the same interests.

I may have to try this out.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

December 15th

Read a suggestion online that sounds good.

A member over at Democratic Underground suggested we make donations to the Kucinich campaign on December 15th. I asked what the significance of that date was. Shows how much I know. It is the date the Bill of Rights took effect in 1791. As the person says:

I don't think it matters whether you can donate $100 or $10, the important thing is that folks donate. Even if Dennis is not your first choice, isn't it worth a donation to his campaign simply to open up the debate for the American people? Right now, the media and their corporate sponsored big money candidates are running everything. I say lets turn the tables on the media and let them know America can no longer be railroaded by their manipulation of information.

I completely agree. Enough is enough.


McClellan Writes A Book

Here's a brief excerpt of a new book by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan:

"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," writes McClellan. "So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby."

But his press performances weren't based on the facts, McClellan continues.

"There was one problem. It was not true," he writes. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself."

McClellan conducted a number of often-heated press events centering on Plame. In one September 2003 briefing, he expressly denied Rove's involvement in the matter.

I think this should be filed in the Colin Powell file of former officials who seriously hurt the country by knowingly prostituting themselves for Bush and then cashing in later.


Bad Guy


Omar Khadr is a young Canadian citizen currently imprisoned at Guantanamo and facing a military trial for war crimes he allegedly committed in Afghanistan at the age of 15.

In July 2002, US special forces in eastern Afghanistan got a tip that al Qaeda forces were holed up nearby. After hours of fighting, the soldiers entered the bombed-out compound but were met by a grenade thrown over the wall that killed one man. They then found Omar Khadr lying in the rubble, badly hurt and begging them -- in perfect English -- to kill him.

The United States has charged Omar with murder, on the grounds that there was no one else left alive in the compound who could have thrown the grenade, and he now faces a possible sentence of life in prison. The only concession made for his youth was not to ask for the death penalty.



In the interest of balance, here's some real news on the situation in Iraq. This is one day:

'MOSUL - One policeman was killed and two wounded in a drive-by shooting at a police checkpoint in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. . .
BAIJI - A parked car bomb wounded five people, including two children, when it exploded near the house of a policeman in the oil refinery city of Baiji, 180 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

NEAR BAQUBA - Gunmen attacked a police station, killing three policemen in a village north of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - An unspecified number [it is said to be 30-40] of foreign security guards [working for the Dubai-based Almco company] were arrested by Iraqi security forces after a shooting in central Baghdad's Karrada district, security spokesman Brigadier-General Qassim Moussawi said. A convoy of four four-wheel drives was passing through a square on the edge of Karrada when a woman crossing the road was shot. The guards were arrested at a nearby checkpoint [none was American] . . .

BAGHDAD - Three bodies were found in different areas of Baghdad on Monday, police said.

BAGHDAD - A car bomb wounded five people in the Bayaa district of southwestern Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb wounded two people on Palestine Street in northeastern Baghdad, police said. . .

BAGHDAD - One person was killed and seven were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near a small bus in Baladiyat district in eastern Baghdad, police said.

SUWAYRA - Police retrieved the bodies of two men bearing signs of torture from the Tigris river on Sunday in the town of Suwayra, south of Baghdad, police said. . .

BASRA - Six members of the same family were killed when a Katyusha rocket hit their house in the oil hub of Basra, 550 km (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, police said. Three of the dead were children. '
Maybe it's just a glass half full or half empty thing .... unless you live in Iraq.


Monday, November 19, 2007

More Iraq

A comment from Abu Adarvark via Rising Hegemon:

I attended a talk today by Stephen Biddle, a first-rate military strategist who has been working with General Petraeus, about military progress in Iraq...Overall, he presented a rosier portrait than I would have, based on his recent ten day visit to Iraq, but he's a serious guy so I take him seriously - though I noticed that he concentrated almost exclusively on the local level progress and hardly mentioned Maliki or the national political level at all. Without getting in to his arguments or my reservations, I just wanted to lay out Biddle's best case scenario as he presented it: if everything goes right and if the US continues to "hit the lottery" with the spread of local ceasefires and none of a dozen different spoilers happens, then a patchwork of local ceasefires between heavily armed, mistrustful communities could possibly hold if and only if the US keeps 80,000-100,000 troops in Iraq for the next twenty to thirty years. And that's the best case scenario of one of the current strategy's smartest supporters.



Atrios has got this just right:

10 months from now we will still be in Iraq, the war will not be "won," whatever the hell that means, US troops will still be getting killed on a regular basis. And that's the optimistic view.

The idea that Iraq will be a popular success story then is about as absurd as thinking that political advice from conservatives and Republican operatives is given in good faith.

The only hope for Republicans in 2008 is that they can make Iraq a bipartisan disaster, something the Villagers in general are desperate to make happen.


You'd Never Know It ....

.... at least according to the American media, but there's still a war going on with a lot of people dying, including Americans:

Bombs killed 17 persons in Iraq on Sunday, including 3 US troops. The three US soldiers were killed Sunday in Baquba in a suicide bombing attack.


Carbon Emission Porn

Via Jaded Thea, we learn of a web site dedicated to monitoring power production and CO2 emissions. It's an awesome, interactive site where you can see just where electricity is generated and how dirty that generation is. Interestingly, my power producer (Pacific Gas and Electric) is relatively clean.

Too bad they don't have a political map overlay for the power generation. Can you guess where the dirtiest power generation is in the U.S.?


Sunday, November 18, 2007


We've really all known this all along. But you can only describe this a grease money:

The Los Angeles Times leads with the Pentagon trying to inject accountability into the way it gives over $1 billion a year in military aid to Pakistan. The U.S. currently reimburses Pakistan automatically, with little or no oversight, for GWOT-related expenses.


Pakistan currently sends the U.S. embassy invoices for vague expenses like "support … provided to U.S. military operations during January through March related to the global war on terrorism" and receives cash—payments that made up three fourths of all U.S. military aid over the past six years.
I'm sure Musharraf has a fat bank account somewhere outside Pakistan. I'm equally sure that Musharraf uses grease money to keep the army on his side.

It's the U.S. participation in this kind of corruption that makes winning the GWOT impossible to win. You can't kill all the terrorist because we're creating them faster than we make bullets by bribing supporting corrupt dictators who could care less about their people.